Friday, July 8, 2011

A review of the Maruka 1:150 scale cement mixer and Fujimoto 1:150 scale MR450 container handler...

Having won these in a contest, I first want to make clear that they are greatly appreciated. They were offered up by a modeler out of their own pocket and were not part of some corporate promotion. With that, I can go into an honest appraisal of the models for the benefit of other potential purchasers.



Other than a rather cryptic warning about Pac Man, assembly instructions were lacking. I didn't need English, however, an exploded view would do nicely and help things along.

Also, 1:150 is NOT N gauge. N gauge is 9mm between the rails, N scale is 1:160 prototype to model ratio. There is a difference. I use N gauge track in my HOn30 (1:87.1) modeling to model 30" gauge track. It is also used in On18 (1:48) modeling to model 18" gauge track.

Fujimoto 1:150 scale MR450 container handler:



Beautifully detailed, it comes with rubber tires and fully extendable lift arm and grabbers. Even the cab adjusts forward for the operator's vision in high lifts. Because of the custom nature of these beasts, being built to specific customer specs, the size difference between the scale ratios matters very little. The added details are finely done and fit well. I recommend a gel type ACC glue to keep things in place.

It is a great looking piece.

Maruka 1:150 scale cement mixer:



Great so far...right? Rubber tires, nice paint (even in Japanese), separate details including a positionable trough to aim your little LPBs cement right at Jimmy Hoffa's feet.

But then...look at it next to an Athearn N scale (1:160) fire truck...


That would be quite a beast to drive around on the highway...:10 making a big difference in side-by-side comparisons. Except in isolated scenes, the truck simply will not look right on a scale layout.

It is however, quite close in scale to my Micro-Machine fleet so, on my layout, it works. If you're a stickler for scale fidelity though, your best bet would be to look elsewhere for cement trucks.

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